Avatar universal

Refuse to take statins. Need any test?

I have had high cholesterol 25 years and refuse to take statins since 1) half of all people who get a heart attack have high cholesterol, and the other haf doesn; 2) high cholesterol is a risk factor, but I know that the most important risk factord are a) herttage, b) tobacco consumption. Nobody, neither in my mother's or my father's side died of a heart attack and I stopped smoking 25 years ago. 3) Statins affect the liver.
I discussed all this with my cardiologyst some 7 years ago and he ordred a stress test that came out clean.
Another doctor ordered later a calcium scoring and conckluded that I do not build plaque.
In my latest check up my HG cholesterol came out low and my triglicerides high, a first, but on the other hand my thyroides were off (I have suffred of hyperthyroidism as long as i have had high cholesterol, but I am medicated). My primary doctor, a cardiologyst, wants to see if those values get corrected with the new dose, but he says that if they come back the same he proposes that I get a CT of the chest angiography with calciul scoring.
Would that really be conclusive about if i really HAVE to be put on statins?
11 Responses
159619 tn?1538180937
The thinking that statins are not needed as 50% of people that die of heart attacks had normal cholesterol levels is not as practical as you think. Remember, a heart attack can be cause by the rupture of a very small area of vulnerable plaque, and everyone has some plaque in our arteries. In fact, just yesterday the FDA approved the following;

"A Food and Drug Administration panel Tuesday backed wider use of AstraZeneca PLC's cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor.

The panel of outside medical experts voted 12-4 with one person abstaining on a question that asked whether the benefit of the drug offset the risks in patients without cardiovascular disease or who are currently considered at lower risk of developing the disease under current treatment guidelines.

The panel vote amounts to a recommendation that the FDA broaden the indication for Crestor as a preventative treatment for cardiovascular disease. The FDA isn't required to follow its panel's advice but usually does.

AstraZeneca sponsored an almost 18,000-patient study known as "Jupiter" that looked at patients whose cholesterol levels were normal or slightly elevated but had an elevated C-reactive protein level.

CRP is a marker of inflammation in the body and associated with a risk of developing several diseases including cardiovascular disease. Under current treatment guidelines, an elevated CRP level wouldn't automatically trigger treatment with a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Drugs such as Crestor are designed to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or so-called bad cholesterol. High cholesterol levels cause the buildup of fatty deposits inside arteries, which in turn puts people at risk of heart attacks and strokes. Doctors traditionally use LDL, or bad cholesterol, as a measure to determine if a patient should be treated with a cholesterol-lowering drug.

The Jupiter study, which compared patients on Crestor to patients receiving a placebo or fake pill, showed a 44% reduction in the number of events that looked at a combination of death, stroke, heart attacks, hospitalization for heart problems and surgery to treat clogged arteries, after an average of 1.9 years. The study results were so strong that the study was stopped early.

Researchers involved with the Jupiter study have estimated about six million patients in the U.S. fit the category of having elevated CRP but with relatively normal cholesterol levels.

During the panel meeting, the FDA said there was a "statistically significant" increase in the number of patients who developed diabetes in the Crestor group compared to the placebo group."

Simply put, statins are going to be recommended for individuals with NORMAL cholesterol levels but high levels of CRP. This is a marker for inflammation  in the vscular system and when present requires lower levels of LDL.

There are other things you can do to lower your cholesterol such as diet and exercise. You never really mention how high your cholesterol numbers or a breakdonw, that would help to answer your question.

Avatar universal
"statins affect the liver"

But that's the whole point of statins. Cholesterol is made in the liver and statins inhibit the production of too much bad cholesterol and triglycerides. In SOME people the liver can be effected in other ways and this is why blood tests should be run to ensure things are normal. If you have low cholesterol, then I agree that cholesterol is probably not the major issue. It is also known and accepted that cholesterol is not the primary cause of atherosclerosis, but until the primary cause has a cure, statins are all that are available.
907968 tn?1292622204
I'm not sure if this is "butting in" or just showing n example....  My cholesterol numbers were nearly perfect in April but in November HDL dropped like a rock and LDL jumped up a few points, If I remember right my Trig.s jumped 20 or so points.  My diet changed to include many apples, Oranges, Pairs, Green salads,and salmon...  I also had what I used to have but much less of it (greasy foods).  I'm on 40mg Simvastatin daily since April and exorcising relatively regularly until about 30 days before the November test where exorcising was sparatic.
Avatar universal
Wait, Jon, did you write that there was a "statistically significant" increase in the number of patients who developed diabetes in the Crestor group compared to the placebo group" ?
Mighty god, so I get to choose what I'll die of?
Anyway, as of august this tear, my total cholesterol was 266, my HDL, 45, my LDL, 176 and my triglycerides, 226. This is the first time I have a little lower HDL (usually it has been 50) and high triglycerides, but so was my TSH, 3rd. generation 6.54, which made my doctor increase the synthoid dose.
I have been taking liver oil (1,200 every morning) for some 30 years, as well as an almost daily table spoon of flax seeds. that should take care of the inflamation, if there was any?
But I reapeat: is the TC angyography of the chest, with calcium scoring, anything for me if I try to avoid the statins alltogether?
Avatar universal
I forgot to tell you that I exercise 1 hour X 5 days a week (walk 3 times a week for an hour at 3.5 mls per hour, and swim 2 times a week for an hour).
I have always been a health buff, so I seldom eat fried, eat modest amounts of meat, love fruits, vegetables, hearty cereals and bread.
My intimate friends and family have always thought of me as of a person with healthy habits.
Avatar universal
So you mean that AFTER you were out on statints all your blood values got crazy?
712042 tn?1254569209
There are more than the stated comments above that would give you to reconsider a statin. It has to do with protection of the vascular walls to prevent placques either in the vessel wall or in the lumen of the great heart vessels AND in the microvessels of the heart which are very impossible to see by any tests even tests that look at cardiac perfusion. I have a CRP of 1. I took years of fish oil and saw NO changes in an already very good lipid profile until I started PRESCRIPTION fish oil (Lovaza) and then further improvement with Niacin and then Crestor. I am in the prevention mode because of my heart issue.I also had a good lifestyle, non-smoker and after 3 heart caths I have no issues with the large vessels. Think about the benefits.
907968 tn?1292622204
Filmare, everything was fine till I started the Simvastatin.  Just seen the Dr today and she said that the Simvastatin is essentially attacking the HLD and keeping the other numbers relatively healthy.  So, she prescribed 250mg Niacin 3x per day and a follow-up blood test in a month.  So, I guess my original statement was relevant after all.  Statins can be harmful  -  "if you're not checked out often".

43 April
20 November
Dr. says I'm twice as likely to have another heart attack than I was when I had my first specifically because of the HDL.
159619 tn?1538180937
Statins have been shown to increase HDL in small amounts, they have never been shown to lower HDL, don't know what your doctor is talking about. I would be asking for a second opinion. Exercise is one of the best ways of increasing HDL so a drop in exercise could result in a drop in HDL. Don't think it had anything to do with the statins.
159619 tn?1538180937
You need to weigh the benefit to the risk, as you doctor already has if he recommended a statin. Your risk from developing CAD with an LDL at 176 is much higher than the less than 1% risk of an adverse side effect from a statin, in my opinion. I have been on one for years and they have worked great for me. I just make sure to get tested every 6 months to watch for any issues with my liver.

1143401 tn?1261197497
There are so many natural safe ways to control and prevent the inflammation that causes CAD and vascular damage that don't involve synthetic petrochemical prescription medicines sold to you at outrageous prices. Study the nutrtional approaches before intoxicating yourself with Statins and take quality Coenzyme Q10 supplements in quantity if you are taking statins to prevent heart failure, a little talked about side effect. Various antioxidants including eklonia cava seaweed extract, Omega 3 fish oil, complete Gamma Vitamin E with tocotrienols, lots of balanced Vit B complex especially B-12,6 (pyridoxamine or P5P form), Niacin, folic acid, Vitamin K-2 MK7, moderate exercise, a pan-mediterranean diet work better, are natural, and are much safer.

Cholesterol is a normal substance and is necessary to good health. Too low levels are also bad, unless you sell statins but big pharma isn't going to tell you or your doctor that. Your body uses cholesterol to repair damage caused by inflammation like a patch. Control the inflammation with the things I mentioned and get your inflammation checked by checking your CRP and homocysteine before your cholesterol. Getting rid of cholesterol to prevent CAD is like getting rid of your blood so you won't ever suffer blood poisoning. If you have hyperlipidemia ( cholesterol numbers in the thousands) you may want to take a statin which is what they were originally designed to treat. By constantly lowering the normal cholesterol levels big pharma has added millions to the list of everyday lifetime statin users and increased its profits by billions. This is the perfect business model, not the perfect health regime. Do the math!  By the way, your FDA is a conspirator in this drug business game they play with many different drugs. My opinions are from and backed by many practicing doctors and cardiologists like Prof. Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC. He writes a health letter. You can Google him and yes he and all of them have nutritional supplements to recommend and sell also so keep some healthy skepticism.

I am 15 years post heart transplant from a congenital cardiomyopathy leading to CHF, not from CAD, but our population of post heart transplant patients suffers a unique form of diffuse CAD (vasculopathy). I don't have it and I don't take statins but I do take many antioxidants and other nutritionals. I have to be careful taking Niacin as too much can be toxic to my liver and to your liver also.  Good luck!
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